Scottie Scheffler, golf’s best player and the favorite to win the U.S. Open, is coming to North Carolina off of an impressive win at The Memorial, where he was greeted by his newborn child on the green. What better way to spend his first Father’s Day weekend as a dad than to be the first player to win the U.S. Open after winning the week before?

Scheffler will definitely be at or near the top of my model this week. His numbers are ridiculous.

The 2024 U.S. Open is the 1,000th USGA event to be held since its founding. This year’s course, Pinehurst No. 2, last hosted the U.S. Open in 2014. Martin Kaymer had a runaway win that year with a masterful performance off the tee and with his putter from everywhere near the green. Kaymer set a then-record for the lowest 36-hole score at a U.S. Open by reaching 10-under before the weekend. Heading into the 2014 tournament, Dustin Johnson was the heavy favorite, and he backed that up with a top-five finish but still didn’t finish under par. Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton were the only other golfers to finish under par for the week.

Brooks Koepka, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day and Adam Scott all finished in the top 10 in 2014 and are in the field this week.

My model will focus on strokes gained around the green more than usual with the unique greens at Pinehurst No. 2. Strokes gained on long golf courses and hard courses will also factor in heavily. Par is a great score at Pinehurst No. 2, so bogey avoidance will be key. Strokes gained on approach will have a little less significance than it had at the PGA Championship, but it won’t be ignored.

Course information

The USGA settled on three anchor sites to host the U.S. Open over the next few decades and has invested heavily in the Pinehurst Resort, with two new buildings on the property and moving over 70 of their employees to work onsite. With these anchor sites, the USGA can concentrate on making improvements to every aspect of the event at each site with the same staff in place that was there for the previous event. The events aren’t being held over a decade apart at each host site, which will be key for continuity.

Course: Pinehurst No. 2 — Pinehurst, North Carolina

Designed by: Donald Ross

Par: 70

Yardage: 7,540 yards

Average green size: 6,500 square feet

Features: The classic Donald Ross design was reshaped and updated in 2010 by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw in order to get closer to the original test Donald Ross envisioned. The golf course was lengthened, and the native areas were expanded with wire grass installed throughout to give players something to think about off the tee. The greens are on the large size by U.S. Open standards, but the turtleback designs make them play significantly smaller with runoffs that see decent approach shots turn into lengthy pitch shots. The holes are tree-lined, but the trees and pine needles only come into play for the most wayward of shots. Players will need to be strategic with how they attack this golf course and will need an imagination around the green to avoid walks of shame as they chase after their ball rolling off the green.

Odds are from BetMGM and update live. Buy tickets to see your favorite team on StubHub.

Betting slip

Scottie Scheffler (+300) is a massive favorite for a good reason. Scheffler won at Muirfield Village by gaining almost 13 strokes on the field on approach. He has gained strokes with his putter in every event since the Genesis Invitational while winning five of those eight events. The odds are short, and I usually wouldn’t think of backing a player against a great field like this at those odds, but Scheffler, at this time, is a completely different animal. The best bet from last week in my mentions and DMs was multiple people betting Scheffler to win The Memorial parlayed with the Celtics to win Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Collin Morikawa (+1600) gave Scheffler all he could handle on Sunday at The Memorial, and his play allowed me to hedge a nice win on Scheffler by live-betting Scheffler down the stretch. Morikawa has gained more than 2.4 strokes with his short game in six straight tournaments. He has gained more than 6.2 strokes ball-striking in three straight events while improving all three weeks.

Ludvig Åberg (+2000) had struggled around the green before he missed the cut at the PGA Championship. But he bounced back big time at The Memorial by gaining over 6.3 strokes with his short game. My worries about his knee issue have been put aside a bit with his performance last week. Finishing T5 on a very difficult golf course against the players playing the best golf in the world at the moment has me excited about what we could see this week.

Min Woo Lee (+6600) has gained more than 4.4 strokes ball-striking in three of his last four events. He gained over 6.3 strokes with his short game at the PGA Championship and finished fifth at the U.S. Open in 2023. Lee is built for big moments, and he has an imagination around the greens.

Sepp Straka (+10000) has three top-five finishes in his last six events. He has struggled a bit in major championships, but his current form is too good to ignore. I love that he has gained over 3.2 strokes around the green in each of his last two events.

DFS Plays

Scottie Scheffler ($13,000) See above.

Xander Schauffele ($11,500) has an incredible record to start his career at U.S. Opens. He hasn’t finished worse than 14th in his first seven U.S. Opens. He has gained strokes on approach in each of the seven U.S. Opens he has played in. He has gained over 3.6 strokes putting in six of his seven U.S. Opens.

Bryson DeChambeau ($10,200) wasn’t at his best at the LIV Golf Houston, but I’m not letting that affect my judgment. DeChambeau has been excellent in majors this year and seems to be more mature and poised. I really like that he has been hot with his putter gaining over 6.6 strokes combined putting in his last two events.

Brooks Koepka ($10,000) has gained more than four strokes ball-striking in four straight events, and he gained over 6.8 strokes off the tee last week at the LIV Golf Houston. I don’t like that he struggled once again with his putter losing over 2.5 strokes for the week. He will need to be at his best to contend here again after finishing T4 in 2014. I could get burned by Koepka this week because I will be going further down the price list to fill out my teams in this price range.

Ludvig Åberg ($9,600) See above.

Collin Morikawa ($9,400) See above.

Tommy Fleetwood ($8,500) has been good lately, but he hasn’t been great since his T3 at The Masters. He has gained strokes on approach in four straight events. He has gained over 7.5 strokes putting combined over his last three events. He has three top-five finishes at the U.S. Open since 2017.

Matt Fitzpatrick ($8,200) has four top-17 finishes in his last six U.S. Opens. He has gained more than 1.2 strokes on approach in every measured U.S. Open he has played. He has gained over 5.8 strokes with his short game in each of his last two U.S. Opens. He gained over 6.6 strokes with his short game at The Memorial as he finished T5 which will be big for his confidence.

Hideki Matsuyama ($8,000) struggled with his ball striking at The Masters and the PGA Championship. He has been dealing with multiple injuries and is always a worry for a withdrawal. Hopefully he will give us the courtesy of an early withdrawal if he is dealing with an injury this week. He looked healthy at The Memorial, tying for eighth and gaining over 3.6 strokes on approach and with his short game. He has gained over 6.2 strokes ball-striking in six of his last seven U.S. Opens. He has excellent hands around the green, but he will need his putter to cooperate for him to contend. Tough to ignore at this price.

Dustin Johnson ($7,400) has missed one cut at a U.S. Open in the last 10 years. He has gained more than 3.4 strokes on approach at U.S. Opens in four out of the last five years. He has gained more than 2.3 strokes putting in each of his last three tournaments, and he gained more than three strokes with his driver last week for the first time since March. He finished T4 here in 2014 and can execute a plan at a U.S. Open.

Min Woo Lee ($7,30) See above.

Tom Kim ($7,300) was in good form heading to The Memorial but struggled with his short game, losing over 6.3 strokes for the week. He has still gained over 2.3 strokes ball-striking in four straight tournaments, and he finished T8 at the U.S. Open in 2023 and had a top 25 in his first try the year before.

Sam Burns ($7,200) has three top-15 finishes in his last four tournaments, but he has struggled at major championships during his career. He has gained over 6.7 strokes combined around the green over his last three tournaments. I think this course sets up the best for him out of the major championships he has participated in. He has finished T32 and 27th the last two years at the U.S. Open and he has gained over nine strokes combined with the putter in his last three U.S. Opens.

Alex Norén ($6,900) is going to be looked at a lot at this price, but he has struggled at the U.S. Open over his career. He has made the cut twice in the last 10 years while never finishing higher than 17th. I’m fading him this week.

Brian Harman ($6,900) has made five straight cuts since missing the cut at The Masters. He gained over 10 strokes on approach combined in the three tournaments before The Memorial. He has made six straight cuts at the U.S. Open, with his best finish being a T2 at Erin Hills in 2017. I really like getting the Open Champion at this price.

Russell Henley ($6,900) has gained over 12.1 strokes on approach combined over his last four tournaments. He has gained strokes with his short game in nine straight tournaments. He has four top-27 finishes over his last five U.S. Opens.

Dean Burmester ($6,800) was a huge asset for DFS players at the PGA Championship and he is still priced too low for his form and skills. He struggled in the first round at LIV Golf Houston but bounced back by gaining over 1.3 strokes ball-striking in each of the next two rounds. Don’t overlook Burmester just because he plays on the LIV Tour.

Denny McCarthy ($6,700) has only missed one cut since the beginning of March, but he has his putter to thank for almost all of that success. He has lost strokes on approach in five straight tournaments. On the other hand, he has gained over 11 strokes combined with the putter over his last two. He has two straight top-20 finishes at the U.S. Open while gaining over 12 strokes with his short game combined.

Sepp Straka ($6,500) See above.

Adam Hadwin ($6,200) had his best week of the year with his irons at The Memorial, gaining over 7.5 strokes on approach. He has gained strokes off the tee in three straight tournaments and around the green in four straight. He has made four straight cuts at the U.S. Open.

Victor Perez ($6,100) has gained over 12 strokes on approach in his last three tournaments combined. He has gained over 14 strokes with his short game in his last two tournaments combined. He has missed the cut in each of his last four U.S. Opens, but I’m going to take a flier in GPPs as a pivot.

Sam Bennett ($5,700) has only missed one cut on any tour since the beginning of March. He has made the cut each of the last two years at the U.S. Open. The 2022 U.S. Amateur winner has the type of game that excels at grinding. He showed that getting himself here by surviving the longest day of golf.

One and done

Each week, we will pick in reverse order of the standings, and we can’t duplicate picks in the same week. Reference this spreadsheet tracking who we have used.

Standings

  • Hugh Kellenberger: $7,250,018.63
  • Brody Miller: $7,191,921.16
  • Dennis Esser: $4,734,966

Esser: Collin Morikawa helped my one and done total without winning at Muirfield Village. Signature events have definitely changed the strategy for who to play and where. The U.S. Open is another huge event for one and done, and my available player pool is dwindling. I was thinking about Ludvig Åberg a lot before I finally settled on Bryson DeChambeau. DeChambeau has been excellent in major championships this year, and I’m running out of spots to use him.

Miller: Viktor Hovland has shown enough lately to give at least a little confidence that he is returning to his 2023 form. If it weren’t for one disastrous back nine at the Memorial, he would have finished top five and a near win at the PGA Championship, and in theory, I love his fit at Pinehurst. He’s an excellent driver of the golf ball with both distance and accuracy and when he’s on, he’s one of the best ball strikers for attacking these greens with such small landing spots. Yes, the short game is a big concern here, but I wonder if he can get away with the Martin Kaymer technique of putting from fairways.

Kellenberger: Scottie Scheffler is the best player in golf, period. And I’ve yet to use him during any of his five wins so far in 2024, so I’m hoping he has No. 6 in him this week at Pinehurst.

(Photo of Scottie Scheffler: Amy Lemus / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Zrodlo